The internet and especially the latest online applications and technologies are always changing. Things are moving so fast in this online environment that if your website as not up to speed on the latest and greatest then your clients will notice this. Any company or business, no matter the size that is perceived as ‘old school’ will eventually pay the price for this negligence. An old website is a huge turn off! In some cases it might be a quick solution, but like everything you do need to speak to web marketing and design experts.
So following a 5 easy to understand tell tale signs that your website is in need of a massive overhaul. Even if you do not identify with all 5, having just 1 sign is bad enough and should be sufficient motivation for you to get in touch with us here at hopping mad designs.
1. Out dated Flash intros
Go back a decade and flash introductions to your website were all the rage. I remember our clients really going for this and the more flashier the intro the better. Ahh how times have changed. If your website is now sporting a cool flash intro then it’s time to get rid of it.
What was once a favourite eye candy piece for your site, has now become and absolute hated add on. This is because it delays website downloads, most browsers will not support this, it is totally search engine unfriendly and in most cased on the go time poor site visitors on mobile sites cannot see this.
So flash intros are a huge no no. Get onto this asap. Get in touch with who ever created your website and tell them to hit the delete button and do it fast. While you are doing this, it would be a good idea to take a good, hard look at the rest of your site and look at a design and content refresh. Chances are if you have any flash what so ever on your site, then you probably haven’t looked at it in ages.
Tell your web developers, if you are still keen on having that impact that HTML 5 is the way to go. It’s got a massive array of options and possibilities and should be considered as a real alternative to flash.
2. Clutter over simplicity
I see some websites that are simply over cluttered. What has happened in the past is that business owners have decided to cram as much information, images and everything about their business on the home page. Its got moving images, heaps of phone numbers, lots of text, staff profiles, customer testimonials etc etc. Its overkill and customers are fed up with this. Users want to get to a web page, find out the information that they want and then be guided through the site to their final destination.
Lets do this test. Open your home page and look carefully at the top half of the site. If you cannot see exactly what you are offering in less than 3 seconds then something is wrong. Ideally, you should be able to land on any page of your site and be able to find what you are searching for immediately. Site exits and bounce rates are a huge problem. Users need to be converted into buyers once they hit your site. Clutter will only increase the issue and drive potential long term clients to your competition. Advice here is to clean the entire site up. Clean, contemporary design will work wonders for you. Give it a shot and see the difference.
3. Brochure style approach
Does your site look like your corporate brochure. Put the two side by side and compare. If this is the case then there are issues. Brochure style sites were great years ago when that was all you really had to do but nowadays sites that read like a brochure, with a focus on heavy text rather than real interesting content is going to drive people away.
Having great content with stylish graphics – even info graphics are more likely to keep people on your site and in turn create the sale or inquiry. Pages of text, useless photos, hard to read paragraphs are a thing of the past. Users demand graphical interfaces that answer questions. Scrolling down pages and reading useless content is an issue. People scan pages now and there is absolutely no motivation on their behalf to read everything on the page. In fact, if they don’t like what they see by the end of the first paragraph, they will be gone. Your web team will be able to address this and combine a graphical website with well written copy to catch customers attention.
Sites that are over 2-3 years will not have refreshed their copy and this is certainly a great reason for a complete web overhaul. Point to note here is that the search engines are looking for new content, so if you want to rank on Google, them my advice is to get onto this today.
Websites need to be content-focused instead of text-focused, meaning that having great content and information is key. Text-heavy websites will put off visitors, as they will have absolutely no motivation to comb through your essays of text to find the information that they need. Websites are also meant to be more interactive than brochures; give your visitors control over what they want or don’t want to see through the use of easy navigation and a user-friendly interface, and encourage them to take the next step with clear calls-to-action.
4. Lack of a social media
I can bet anything that your old website is devoid of social media. Being part of the online world and being perceived as a modern company now means that you have to be active in the social media space. Yes there are many platforms to choose from but go with the popular ones and start engaging with a new untapped market.
Sharing, liking and communicating in this space is all about Web 2.0 and all new websites are actively participating in these platforms. Personally I love Instagram. It’s fast, easy to use and you can get a following very quickly. Its very fashion able and if you are in this space, your credibility will skyrocket.
Having social media icons on your website is easy and these can all be linked. To what ever platform you like. Again, if you are active in these spaces, even blogging ( as I do), this will have an impact on your SEO and overall online ranking. Dominate your market and industry by setting up a blog and start to publish content. This is part of a social media strategy as people start reading, sharing and liking your topics. Once this begins happening and you start putting more content out their that people like, you will over time see a greater increase in web traffic. This is proven! So if your site doesn’t have a blog then you need to get one.
5. Mobile friendly websites
Mobiles sites are here to stay. Get used to this. It’s not a fad or passing trend this is a reality and if your website is not viewable on a hand held device or mobile phone then watch out big time. This will be a serious issue for your business and the sooner you get on board with this the better. It’s a no brainer. If you can see your website on a phone, why are they going to stay and buy. This is magnifies when it comes to eComemrce websites. Give users what they want. Implement a responsive website design so that its viewable on all devices. It is as simple as that. There should be no excuses moving forward.
Make your site responsive now and whilst you are doing this give it a complete overhaul as well.